Thursday, 1 December 2016

10 Christmas Activities Using ICT

Hi all,

Below are some ways to use ICT to keep your children busy in the run up to the Christmas holidays!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

1. Create an augmented reality Christmas card.
I'm very excited to try this out this year. This is done by using the app, Aurasma. Follow Paul Hamilton's simple tutorial below. Note: The children will need a mobile device and will need to create a free account using Aurasma.

2. Make an interactive Christmas card using Scratch.
Follow the simple instructions in this PDF. You only need to follow two steps so even absolute beginners could try this one!

3. Whole class interactive wordsearch:
Does exactly what it says on the tin - from

4. Play Christmas carols...
by squeezing the noses in this reindeer orchestra. This is dangerously addictive!

5. Have a Christmas Carol video conference:
I love this idea from - link up with another school and sing some Christmas carols to one another. 

6. Do an interactive spot the difference:
Thanks to

7. Explore Christmas around the world
Join in with Mr. Parkinson's project (He's may be better known to you as the teacher from "ICT with Mr. P.") - add your Christmas traditions to his padlet (you can access from a computer or the app on a tablet device) or sign up for a Skype call.

8. Have a Christmas karaoke session:

9. Have the children create a Christmas table quiz:
Divide the children into groups. Each group needs to create a round of questions and present them on a suitable application - e.g. Keynote/Powerpoint. Then the whole quiz can be put together to be answered by all.

10. Let me virtually teach your class!
Sit back, relax and let your class join in to my video tutorial of Jingle Bell Rock. Then put on a karaoke version and let them perform it to the music. The dance is done on the spot so the children can stand in the classroom to do it.

*Credits for cover graphic - background and clipart (, fonts (

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Freebie: Halloween Team-Building Activities

Hi all,

Want some ideas for games for your classroom? Or are you looking for something to give your staff a chance to have a laugh together? Look no further! I've made posters for 10 activities - 5 individual and 5 whole-group events. If you'd like to download these, you can get them for FREE from my TPT store. Just click here or on the image below!


Monday, 19 September 2016

Question word posters freebie

Ahoy there!

I have just added a freebie to my TPT store. It's this set of questions posters. 

I'm going to have my class fill the blank spaces with answers to these questions. Alternatively, you could get the children to put examples of questions using these words. This makes the display much more meaningful for the class.


Saturday, 10 September 2016

First class Twitter experience

Hi all,

Last May I posted about ways to use a class / school Twitter account to connect classrooms across the world. So it was time to put my money where my mouth is and get my class Tweeting. I teach Grade 3 (7 year olds) in Italy. I'm hoping the children can interact with other English-speaking children through Twitter.

Here was our first venture. We tweeted a photograph of our resources before doing an investigation.

Unfortunately we didn't get any responses during our school hours so I mentioned a few of our followers and asked if they would like to join in. Then we got these responses.

I'll show these to the children on Monday and we'll Tweet a photograph of our results and some of the children's reactions. Here's the photo we'll be sharing:

On a side note. If any of you were curious to see how our bulletin board outside the classroom turned out with the children's first day work on it, here you go! Each badge has the children's name, favourite animal, favourite colour and the superpower they would like.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Classroom reveal: Superhero-themed Grade 3 PYP classroom

Hi all, 

The children in my class started today and I finally got around to taking some photographs of how it looks. If you've seen my classroom reveal post from other years, you'll probably recognise things from other years.

This is the main display outside the classroom:

The children each coloured a superhero and wrote some details about themselves on badges. I'll add those to the board when I have some more energy!

And here are some more superhero accents around the room.

This Tiger basket that I decorated with mix and match clipart.

Of course, I couldn't resist labeling the bins superhero-themed too.

Keeping the Learner Profile in context, I added this "Are we being principled?" sign above our behaviour management clip chart.

I've kept last year's idea of displaying the transdisciplinary themes on superhero style badges on a cape. 

Here are a few snaps of the entire room. Scroll down for specifics!

The PYP attitudes posters on the line block the other displays from this angle but it's not so bad from child height.

Our essential agreements display:

I spent an embarrassing amount of hours last year, tracing, cutting and laminating to make these Lego superheroes. There was no way they weren't going to be reused this year. So we decided on our essential agreements (class promises/rules) for this year and handed them to Batman and co.

Magic maths words display:

My school is having a big focus on problem-solving in maths this year so I wanted to make a more prominent maths vocabulary board in the classroom. This is the basic board. The children will suggest words (e.g. add, total, plus, more) to put in each section as the year goes on. 
Title banner: Sparklebox
Symbols: Fun for Learning
Adhesive googly eyes and ribbon: Tiger

Editing board:

The giant pencil was free from The Teacher Wife and the "capital letters detective" display was made by me (and is available in my TPT store).

Calendar/birthday board:

Owl-themed classroom birthdays display: Halle Hird
Owl-themed calendar set:Apple Girl Amber 
Header: Sparklebox
All other elements were made by me. 

Reflection / reading area:

I've got 6 sheets in the reflection area - collaborative group reflection, peer assessment, 2 stars and a wish, self-assessment of understanding, PYP Learner Profile goal-setting sheets and PYP attitude goal-setting sheets. You can get these from here if you like. Each child has an A5 sized plastic envelope in the box in which they keep their reflection sheets for the year.

Wonder wall and PYP Transdisciplinary Skills

I made all parts of the wonder wall and the skills posters. If you're in an IB school and want the skills, you can get them from here.

I hope you enjoyed this tour! 

Monday, 29 August 2016

SUPER glue basket

Hi all,

I hope the start of the year is going well for those of you who are back already. 

I'm having some superhero touches to my classroom this year. I had a very busy day today but managed to put together this little basket to satisfy my nerdy needs.

Basket and ribbon: Tiger
"Glue" Font: Badaboom BB
Superglue clipart: Johnny's clipart
Cape, eyes, mouth and Superman logo all found on Google Images

Happy prepping to one and all!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Instagram display for school photos

Hi everyone,

I've been back to work a couple of days and due to meetings and sorting things, I've only got one display done. It's this Instagram-style display for photos near the entrance of the school. This was inspired by Ashley's (from Teach Create Motivate) version which is for sale on TPT. I wanted mine larger scale so I set out to create my own version. However, the backing paper was a different white to the different elements I printed so it ended up looking a bit patchworky. 

Hope you like it, despite its flaws!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

20% off TPT sale Monday, 22nd August

Hi everyone!

I know tomorrow's Monday and that many of you are going back to school soon (I'm starting tomorrow!) so here's a little something to cheer you up. Tomorrow, Monday, 22nd August, there will be 20% off everything in my TPT store.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Back to school freebies

Hi all,

I hope you're enjoying the holidays and not suffering from the August blues! Here are some back to school freebies for you to help get you up and running.


These welcome posters are available for free in my TPT store as Gaeilge or in English.

These WALT and WILF posters are great for sticking on your board to share lesson objectives or assessment criteria.

This is a behaviour management technique that we have used for a number of years at my school. Each child's name is put in a cup. Every break time, you choose a name and secretly watch that child in the line. If they behave well, they get to put a star on a chart. If not, we don't tell them who the secret walker was but we explain why that person didn't get a star. I usually print the children's names on an A3 sheet to make the star chart and put the above poster on top.

I will be having a TPT sale with 20% off all items in my store on 22nd August!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Star Wars Classroom Management Clip Charts and Decor Kit

Hello there,

I hope you are all enjoying August. Clip charts are one of my favourite behaviour management strategies. The concept is so simple. Each child has a clothes peg clipped to it. They all begin in the "Ready to Learn" section every day. Depending on their choices, they must move their peg up or down throughout the day. In my school, we use the same clip chart in all elementary classrooms and it works really well.

I've created two Star Wars-themed clip charts - one in English and one as Gaeilge (in the Irish language). If you'd like to get either, they're available for $2 (roughly €1.80) in my TPT store. Click on either of the images below to view them in the store.

I've also made this Star Wars-themed classroom decoration kit. It contains the following resources:
Page 3: "The force is strong in this class" sign
4-10: Class calendar - days and numbers 1-31 (plus editable squares)
11-12: Days of the week
13-15: "Yesterday was," "Today is" and "Tomorrow will be" signs
16-19: Months of the year
20-26: Word wall headers ("Word Wall" and each letter "Aa" "Bb")
27-33: Welcome banner (pennant-style)
34-37: Classroom management clip-chart (as above - in English)
38-43: Table numbers (1-6)
44-50: How we go home (Header, After-school club, Day care, Walking, Bus, Bicycle, Car)

51-53: Blank EDITABLE labels (lined, not lined and circular)

It costs $6 (roughly €5.40).

You'll also find the days of the week (in English and as Gaeilge) and the calendar set sold separately in the STAR WARS SECTION of my TPT store. Click here to view them!

Monday, 8 August 2016

FREE Parent Reminder Checklists

Hi all,

Hope you're enjoying the summer holidays. Here's a quick freebie - a set of editable parent reminder sheets. 

You could print them off and give them to the parents on the first week of school. However, if you've got a big class and don't want the printing costs, you could email them to the parents and they can decide to print it if they wish.

I used one of these templates last year (see photo).

The freebie includes two different styles in 6 different colours.

You can download it for free from my TPT store by clicking here.

Friday, 29 July 2016

IB MYP Global Contexts Posters

Hello there!

I'm back with more MYP resources. I've added two sets of MYP Global Contexts posters to my TPT store. One set is square with world flags borders, the other set has circular posters in pastel colours. Both sets include both the British English and American English spelling of globalisation/globalization. The sets cost $1.50. Click on either of the images to view them in the store.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Other ways teachers could put their skills to use

As a teacher, you build up many skills you hadn't thought about when you signed up for this profession. Here are some other ways you could put your new skills to use:

1. Poker shark: You've seen and heard things that would cause a non-teacher to crack a smile and give the game away. You've had too many times where a child has done/said something absolutely hilarious while breaking the rules and you have had to put on your poker face and reprimand them before you escape to the bathroom and let all the laughter out. This would make you an ideal candidate for playing poker. You'd be the best bluffer at the table.

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2. Acting: "Is this for me? Oh you shouldn't have!" Then, trying not to wince at the unusual object, "You really shouldn't have!"
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3. Criminal (fraud): Think of all that time you've spent, carefully slicing up bits of paper and gluing them back together to create differentiated worksheets that look almost identical. If you decided to turn to the dark side, what better way to use these skills than to create counterfeit documents?
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4. Witch doctor: You have learned how to fix all manner of ailments with "alternative" cures and mumbling of words. You know the true power of a wet paper towel, "rub your tummy three times" or "drink some water." You also have an innate understanding of when somebody requires NO CURE AT ALL!
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5. Referee/mediator: Need I elaborate?
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6. Historian: Not only are you fantastic at scavenging through the archaeological site that is your pocket or handbag, you're fantastic at deciphering strange markings on paper that appears on your desk.
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7. Interior designer: All those hours you've spent changing displays and organising your classroom has given you a great eye for the aesthetic.
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8. Competitive eater: How many times have you had to inhale your lunch so you could go on yard duty? Unbeknownst to yourself you've been training for the speed eating olympics all along.
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9. Photocopier technician: You know more tricks than the average person to try and coax that photocopier back to life again. 
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